Residents can sign up for alerts from St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 27, 2021

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — In an effort to keep residents more informed with news at the neighborhood level, the city of St. Clair Shores is offering a new alert system, Citizen Alert.

Assistant City Manager Bill Gambill said several departments in the city, including Parks and Recreation, the Fire Department, and Department of Public Works, wanted to be able to communicate with residents on a more localized level than was currently available from the Notify Me system. Citizen Alert also works in conjunction with the city’s website, scsmi.net, but it is more localized and can be sent to a resident’s phone, email or via text message.

“It allows people to pick their notification preference — text, email or call — so they can be informed the way they want to be informed,” he said.

Because of its location-based nature, the city can alert only residents within a square mile or so of a road closure, or send out an alert about a water main break in the area. The notification can also be used for more city-wide alerts like the cancellation of a concert due to weather.

The service is provided by the same company that built the city’s website, CivicPlus. It will allow the city to issue urgent notifications, emergency instructions, warnings and routine communications to subscribers. It also integrates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert Warning System, allowing the city to reach as many people as possible during an emergency event.

“Emergencies happen all the time,” said Mayor Kip Walby in a press release. “Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency improves your odds of a positive outcome. It’s also an effective way for the city to convey additional information about city events, trash delays, road closures and late breaking news.”

The new service cost the city $6,270 to implement for 2021 and was paid for using federal COVID relief funds, Gambill said. Should the city continue with the service, the annual cost is $13,167.16.

The service is free for residents to use. Sign up by clicking Citizen Alerts at the bottom of the city’s home page, www.scsmi.net.

“You just go right in, provide the info and you can start getting notifications,” Gambill said. “It’s a more efficient way to inform residents of what’s going on in the city and their particular local area. We’d encourage everyone to sign up.”

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